'Out-pensions' of £7 a year were paid under an Act of 1763. These enabled more of the naval casualties of the Seven Years War to be supported 'in the community' than could live in the Hospital as 'in-pensioners'.
However, despite the Hospital’s growing income, extra government funding was still needed. Although it was a modernizing trend, out-pensions became a financial burden. There were some 30,000 such men on the books by 1820, costing more than £300,000 a year. In 1829 the costs were taken over entirely by government.
This marked a decline towards the Hospital's closure. Before 1848 there was always a waiting list for entry, but after that date vacancies increased rapidly:
400 in 1853
1100 in 1860.
When the Navy was enforcing the 'Pax Britannica' on the world's oceans, there were fewer candidates for Greenwich, and being an out-pensioner was more attractive.
The end of in-pensioners
In 1860 a Royal Commission proposed the end of in-pensions in exchange for an annuity to all existing inmates. In October 1865, under a new Act, 987 of the 1400 remaining in-pensioners left the Hospital.